First, I want to point out that I have not always been strong in my faith. There were a few years where I definitely strayed away, wanting to make my “own” decisions. Only to realize that those choices led me to a lot of unhappiness and difficult situations.
The beautiful thing about faith is that it is very different for everyone – even people that attend the same church meetings. Some may have a strong testimony of receiving guidance through the scriptures, but’ the person next to them may not necessarily feel anything special from reading their Bible (Quran, Torah, Book of Mormon, etc). To me, that is the MOST important part of the whole faith building journey. We have to accept that our journeys are different from anyone else’s, and expand on what works for us in our pursuit to better our own souls. Try to find what values, morals, and goals are important to you, then find a religion that supports and encourages you to keep those values consistent in your life.
Okay, now that I’m done pretending like I know everything… on to the reason that you’re here! To hear about my journey!!
Like I said previously, I did not always attend church and live to the standards that are important to me now. However, I did always know in the back of my mind that the temple was where I plan to get married (honestly, who WOULDN’T want to be sealed to their husband/wife for time and all eternity?!), and I want to raise my children with the standards that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints upholds. A few examples of those morals are:
- being accountable for your choices
- being honest and doing what is right when there’s no one around
- respecting yourself and those around you
- constantly seeking to educate yourself and develop your talents
- being grateful for the small blessings in life
- tending to your physical and emotional health
- taking care of your earthly body by avoiding alcohol/drugs/addictive substances
Just to offer a quick explanation from lds.org,
“The word endowment means “a gift.” In this context, the temple endowment is literally a gift from God whereby He bestows sacred blessings upon you. The endowment can only be received in His way and in His holy temple. Some of the gifts you receive through the temple endowment include:
- Greater knowledge of the Lord’s purposes and teachings.
- Power to do all that God wants us to do.
- Divine direction and protection as we serve the Lord, our families, and others.
- Increased hope, comfort, and peace.
- Promised blessings now and forever.”
To me personally, this was a HUGE choice. I like to think of it kind of like an emotional marriage to Heavenly Father. You’re essentially making promises to live life in a way that you will dedicate your talents and time to Heavenly Father and support those in His family (all people). So doesn’t it make sense that you’d want to think about this decision for a while? I think so. I mean, clearly I don’t jump into marriage quickly 😉
I have been attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints consistently for the past two years, after a hiatus of about 3 years. So I had been seriously considering getting endowed for about a year.. To me, it just felt like I would never be ready. But finally, at the end of March I began reading the Doctrine and Covenants (another scripture in the Church of Jesus Christ). I had been thinking a lot about how I want my life to be. What is my purpose? Where am I investing my time? Am I putting myself in a place to receive the blessings that I’m asking for? I realized just in reading the first couple chapters of D&C that this faith has provided such a huge amount of comfort and guidance for me. I want to invest myself fully into it. I WANT to have the responsibility of dedicating myself to Christ. I WANT to be expected to continue in my personal, spiritual, and all around growth.
Of course I wanted my mom to come to the ceremony. So the first weekend that worked for the both of us she bought a flight and was on her way!
I still cannot find the words for how excited I was to finally feel like I’m mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a place to be ready to take the next step of endowment. The blessings explained in the temple are sacred and so beautiful… so much more than I could’ve imagined.
Side note: A lot of individuals will receive their endowment right before they get married or go on a mission. That wasn’t the case for me, but I think to each their own. If that feels like the right timing for you, then by all means, do it! For me though, I needed this to be an isolated experience. I wanted to feel like this was FOR me and because of me. Not for any other reason.
Ever since I went through the temple, I have felt such a fullness in my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a truly amazing plan He has for each and every one of us. We just need to open the metaphorical door and let Him in.
XOXO, Carly J